- 'Time-out' with the family: the shaping of family leisure in the new urban consumption spaces of cafes, bars and restaurants
- Leisure Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 34 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
In many north-western European countries, the family practices of drinking and eating used to be largely located in the private domain of the home. This situation has recently begun to change, particularly in gentrified urban areas where middle-class families are growing in number and family outings in bars and restaurants are becoming more widespread. This paper examines the new practices of family consumption from two perspectives: the providers and the consumers. Entrepreneurs shape family-friendly spaces by reducing boundaries between eating, drinking and playing and by offering out-of-home pleasures in home-like environments for both parents and children. They balance between accommodating the families and retaining their childless clients. Families that consume in the food and drink spaces are primarily local middle-class families, and fathers and mothers equally participate. This study further reveals that leisure time spent with the family cannot always be classified as leisure time as a family. Parental involvement with the children differs. We distinguish leisured caring time with high parental involvement, own leisure time mainly directed at parents’ personal activities and social leisure time mainly directed at maintaining social relationships beyond the family. We discuss earlier research on the complicated character of family leisure related to the caring duties of parents. Empirical evidence comes from an exploratory study of ten consumption spaces in the inner city of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
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